Lucknow, Jan 8: Padma awardees from the field of performing arts will be invited to perform in Ayodhya between January 14 and March 24 by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Mukesh Meshram, principal secretary (culture and tourism), said that the artists will be paid what the state government has decided and not as per their rates, if they have any.
“So they will have the option of accepting or rejecting the invitation of the department of culture to perform in Ayodhya,” Meshram said.
“The work of inviting the artistes has been given to Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) chairperson Dr Sandhya Purecha and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). However, there will be no discrimination in extending invitation as artistes have no religion. Such artistes from all faiths will be invited,” he added.
Head of SNA, Delhi, Dr Sandhya Purecha, who is also a senior Bharat Natyam exponent and author, said: “There would be no performance on January 22 except Pran Pratishtha ceremony. Artistes are still being contacted. The list is being finalised. Most of the Padma awardees would be invited to perform in Ayodhya.”
According to insiders, there are several Padma awardees belonging to film Industry who would also be contacted by government but there are remote chances that any big film personality would agree to perform here in Ayodhya because they charge a hefty fee.
A state government official not wishing to be named said: “There are artistes working in the film industry who are Padma awardees but there is a remote possibility that they will accept the invitation just because of monetary reasons.”